From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Zamfara State Government said on Monday that it has made investments in gold, real estate and other endeavors in 2020 worth over N12 billion.
The State Government explained that most of the property investment was in choice areas of Abuja and other locations with the value, and was facilitated through the effort of the State Investment and Property Development Company Limited and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Investment and Public Private Partnerships (PPP), Princess Rabi Ibrahim.
Princess Ibrahim told journalists at a press conference in Abuja, that the latest acquisition of the State in its real estate investment drive was a functional five star hotel at Wuse II, Abuja.
She said: “The hotel built with modern day facilities and tasteful furnishings was offered for outright sale at N2.1 billion. However, after intensive negotiations, the price was slashed to N1.8 billion. Few weeks after the purchase, the property has appreciated in value close to N1 billion. The property is worth N2.7 billion now.”
She stressed that the desire of the State government was to jerk up its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) through proceeds from such investments.
She explained: “The Investment Directorate made investments in properties worth over N10 billion, and gold deposits worth N2 billion. The total investment made by the Directorate in the past year and few months was N12.035 billion. And we are still negotiating to acquire more properties for the State at choice locations so as to increase the IGR.
“Most of the properties we purchased have appreciated because we do thorough negotiation, and in most cases purchase in what estate valuers describe as Forced Sale Value (FSV).”
She admitted that the State IGR is significantly low and would not help the State attend to the infrastructural needs of its people, hence the idea to engage in such profitable ventures to shore up the IGR and it has yeilded the desired result.
“Nevertheless, the Governor, Bello Matawalle, has provided the State with most of the social basic amenities such as clean water, good roads, electricity and affordable healthcare in the State capital, local government areas and all the 147 wards in the state.
“He met empty treasury and accumulated debt to the tune of N350 billion when he came into power, but he still managed to set aside resources for investment out of the meager Federal allocation the state receives monthly,” she said.
She, however, accused previous administration’s of not investing state resources in profitable ventures, but rather disposed lots of available State’s investment instruments in the custody of the State Investment and Property Development Company, a parastatal under the Investment Directorate.
“I took inventory of all the investment instruments and Shares the State had and was shocked to discover that most of the Shares were illegally disposed and certain investments of the state could not be accounted for. But the good news is that I will trace all the stolen, looted and state investments that was converted to personal ownership and return them back to the state following the right channel,” she vowed.